By Chinenye Anuforo
Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc would soon be smiling to the bank as its Board of Directors recommended an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share for the first time in its history
The bank explained that the board was able to come up with the 25 kobo recommendation based on the good performance recorded in its half-year results.
The qualifying date for the dividend is August 21, 2015 while the register will close on August 24, 2015 to enable the bank’s registrar prepare the dividend payout.
In the audited half-year result, its group pre-tax profit increased by 24 per cent from N58 billion to N72 billion, while profit after tax rose to N53 billion, up from N47 billion in 2014.
The results also showed gross earnings rose by 24 per cent, from N184.4 billion in June 2014 to N229.08 billion just as the net interest income increased by 14 per cent from N98.6 billion in 2004 to N112.6 billion. Zenith Bank deposits rose from N2.5 trillion to N2.6 trillion, even as total assets stood at N3.8 trillion in 2015 as against N3.7trillion in 2014.
Gross loans and advances grew by 10.4 per cent without compromising the asset quality as evidenced by a best-in-class low cost rate of 0.8 per cent, which is below industry average of 1.44 percent.
The bank’s outstanding service delivery has won numerous international endorsements and awards, including Best Bank in Corporate Governance in Nigeria by Global Banking and Finance (2015), Best Customer Service Bank in Nigeria by Global Banking and Finance (2014) and the Most Customer-Focused Bank in Nigeria by KPMG (2014).
The bank explained that “the cardinal values of excellent customer service, highly professional and competent workforce, as well as the optimal use of technology continue to be the driving force behind the performance.
First Bank, LBS task SMEs on GDP growth
First Bank of Nigeria Limited in partnership with Lagos Business School (LBS) has tasked Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) practitioners in Nigeria on capacity building that will contribute to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and reposition the national economy for sustained growth.
The bank, through its Sustainability Centre, First Bank Sustainability Centre (FSC) is partnering LBS to empower SMEs practitioners in Nigeria. At a two-day workshop entitled, “Sustainability Strategies for SMES,” held at the LBS, the bank said the workshop was designed to empower and enlighten participants that sustainability is not just about the environment but an important step towards an efficient business model that reduces waste, cuts costs and increases profit.
The bank’s Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, described the workshop as one of the initiatives aimed at engaging and supporting the business enterprises of its stakeholders towards ensuring optimum performance.
“We believe that SMEs are at the heart of national development, contributing greatly to the GDP of our country.”
“As Nigeria’s leading SME bank, we are focused on empowering SMEs and SME entrepreneurs towards capacity building and development to contribute to the growth of our economy in providing employment to people, adding to our GDP and repositioning the national economy for sustained growth,” she said.
Speaking on the topic, “Sustainability and SMEs,” the facilitator, Dayo Oluwole, who emphasised on the need for sound risk management, explained that organisations that have been in operation between 50 and 100 years are their strong focus on succession planning and leadership development. She informed the entrepreneurs present at the workshop to adopt the right business planning and consider the impact of their business on society, environment and the economy.
Source : SunOnline